My mother was born with cleft lip/palate, so I chose my charity based on that. Most people choose something near and dear, which might be something like Alzheimer's Research. Whichever charity you're giving to, give yourself a pat on the back because helping others is sadly not something everyone does.
It feels good to help others. Remember all that stuff in your childhood about it being better to give than to receive? Ever tried it?
I don't think there's anything at all wrong with charity. Of course, just as with anything else where people are involved there's an opportunity for the unscrupulous among us to exploit the others. There certainly has been skepticism about whether all your money is used to it's fullest when donating to some charities. So it pays to do your research and know where your money is actually going. This is a good reason to check out The Smile Train because they have a way of streamlining their process to maximize every donated dollar.
They actually have something called "Virtual Surgery Videos" to train doctors to repair cleft lip/palate. Rather than fly our doctors overseas to perform surgeries every few months, they can learn how to do it themselves remotely. Innovation in charity, I guess you'd call that.
In sum, if you'd like to donate a few dollars to children born with a condition that interferes with the simple acts of eating and speaking, please head on over to The Smile Train and/or check out my Lens on The Smile Train Charity.